ACT same-sex marriage laws overturned by High Court

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The High Court has overturned Australia’s first same-sex marriage law. Chief Justice Robert French yesterday read the unanimous finding that the ACT law was entirely inconsistent with federal marriage legislation, reports The Sydney Morning Herald

The judges found the ACT law could not operate alongside the federal law as only the Federal Parliament had the power under the constitution to legislate on same sex marriage. They said the federal Marriage Act did not allow or recognise marriages between same sex couples.

The court held the ACT's act provided for marriage equality for same sex couples, not, as the territory argued, for a form of legally recognised relationship that was different from marriage. The finding means the ACT act cannot operate concurrently with the federal act.

'Because the ACT act does not validly provide for the formation of same sex marriages, its provisions about the rights of parties to such marriages and the dissolution of such marriages cannot have separate operation and are also of no effect,' the statement said.

'The court held that the whole of the ACT act is of no effect.'

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says marriage equality is now 'firmly at the feet' of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and every federal MP. Ms Gallagher threw the challenge down to Mr Abbott on Thursday after the High Court overturned the ACT law.

FULL COVERAGE

ACT same-sex marriage laws overturned by High Court (SMH)

High Court decision paves the way for same-sex marriage (The Canberra Times)

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